How To Get a List of American School Holidays

Unlike the United Kingdom and most countries in Europe, the school schedule in the United States of America is not uniform across all states. This makes the entire range of school holidays varied throughout the country. Each district usually has a free hand in determining the schedule within their jurisdiction, and there can be dozens of school districts in a single city.

Traditionally, the summer break holiday was scheduled from Memorial day the last Monday of May until Labor day the first Monday of September. Since this was seen as a very extended furlough from school, most districts have chosen to extended classes until the middle of June. School also starts quite early now - some schools resume classes during the second half of August.

Simply put, the schedule is just not standard anymore and schools from all over the country have different schedules for school holidays.

Here are links to various listings per state. Note that individual district schedules may not necessarily apply.

Usually, school holidays include the following holidays that are also celebrated across the country.

  • Spring break: This is usually held for at least one week in March or April. In most school districts, this will also coincide with the Easter or Passover season.
  • Summer break: Summer vacation is usually a six to ten week break from academics, and will occur between school years. This means students move up from one grade to another (or graduate from Elementary to middle school, middle school to high school, or graduate high school and start tertiary education). Summer break is usually intended to give students a break and therefore avoid over-stimulation. This also gives schools time to repair and improve facilities in preparation for the upcoming school year.
  • Thanksgiving: This is celebrated every fourth Thursday of November. Schools usually start the holiday season the day before Thanksgiving day itself (which is the Wednesday prior).
  • Winter Break: In states and regions with very cold and harsh winters, winter break may be used as an alternative to summer vacation. This allows for cost savings, in terms of heating and travel during the very cold months.
  • Labor Day is celebrated every first Monday of September.
  • Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October. This is not observed in all states and districts, though, in deference to Native Americans who were displaced by the explorer's conquests in the new world.
  • Christmas and New Years days are holidays, although these would usually be covered within the winter break that students enjoy (whether long or short).
  • President's Day is observed every third Monday of February.
  • Memorial Day is celebrated every last Monday of May.

Again, schools from within different states and school districts probably have varying schedules. Some other schools also hold holidays to give faculty and staff their own special day off during the year. To be sure, check with your school district for a list of planned holidays for the upcoming academic or calendar year.


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